North Kinsman and South Kinsman Trail via Lonesome Lake and Appalachian Trail is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,208 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

This trail will bring you past Lonesome Lake in an old glacial cirque, past Kinsman Pond to the Kinsman Peaks which are the highest in the range. Kinsman is an open summit offering good views but North Kinsman is wooded with some views to the east. This hike is the quickest and easiest way to get to both peaks in one hike. Park in the Lafayette Campground. Take the Lonesome Lake Trail north and turn left in the Cascade Brook trail until you reach the Lonesome Lake Hut (Operated by the AMC). You may want to rest there, and you can grab a snack, juice, or tea for a few bucks. Continue up into the Fishing Jimmy trail. At the four way intersection you want to continue north (left would take you to the shelter, and right would take you to Cannon Mountain (another popular destination)). Soon you will reach North Kinsman. You have to step east a few feet into the view to take pictures of the White Mountains. Continue the trail to South Kinsman. Retrace to return to your car. Some people combine this hike with Cannon Mountain into a longer hike. You can also do it as a backpack if you stay at the Kinsman shelter.

1 month ago

Would not do this again. Hardly any views. Glad to check these off the list. What’s up with the mileage? It’s 10.5 miles not 8.8. Another trail that is off on mileage...

hiking
1 month ago

Went on 9/20 with a first timer pup, she did great. There are a couple really steep parts but par for the course. Spent some time at the pond and lake taking in the sights as there were no summit views on this cloudy/ foggy day. Took us about 6 hrs round trip. Would do again with nicer weather at summit
3rd and 4th of 4,000’ers

hiking
2 months ago

Lonesome Lake to Fishin’ Jimmy to Kinsman Peaks, down the Kinsman Ridge over the Cannon Balls and back down to Lonesome Lake. Maybe 13mi RT from Lafayette Campground. The last push down and over the Cannonballs will shred what’s left of your legs. I thanked my lucky stars I came up Fishin’ Jimmy while I was going down the Kinsman Ridge. Thankfully there is a nice swim awaiting you back down in Lonesome before the last push to the Lot, conversely there is The Basin one exit south down the road if you finish early enough. Awesome kill-your-quads kind of day.

hiking
2 months ago

Technical trail, needed to scramble on many portions. Only climbed up, took the tram down. Due to wet rocks and steepness, down would be considerably more difficult. $13/adult for one way tram, able to ride down without ticket and pay at the bottom.

hiking
3 months ago

Long, tough climb. Would be best to do on a dry day.

3 months ago

What a tough, beautiful trail.

3 months ago

11 and 12 for my #48 .. was actually 11.1 miles and took 8.5 hours (breaks included) Went up Fishin Jimmy, Let me tell you doing that trek up after a lot of rain made for some very slick rocks and it's a considerably steep trail! The views were hazy on North Kinsman but very beautiful and nice to see Lafayette and the Fraconia Ridge group from the point of view.. South Kinsman definitely has the views with the larger summit and 360 view.. Descended down Kinsman Pond (very quiet which is perfect and far less steep than Fishin Jimmy) and as far as being "not well maintained" I've been on far worse trails . This trail was small but well marked. Looped back over to Lonesome Lake trail and a very long .8 mile back to the car haha.

hiking
4 months ago

Completed 6/29. Great hike to include 3 peaks of NE111.
I chose a custom loop, climbing immediately up HI-Cannon Trail to tag Cannon Mountain (which is included in the 'Terrifying 25' club! > really wasn't horrible, some steep spots but nothing we haven't all seen before)... It was a foggy morning, but made for some nice pictures. The climb down Cannon had steep sections & was roughly 2.4mi to N. Kinsman on the Kinsman Ridge Trail. One great outcrop rock for beauty views of range. Continued out & back to S. Kinsman & returned on Fishin' Jimmy Trail. The long trek down the never-ending Fishin Jimmy is where exhaustion kicked in, knees aching all the way to Lonesome Lake (a perfect rest area). Final push back to trailhead.

Overall:
11.2mi
6hr20m
4,425ft elev gain

Strenuous but memorable!

hiking
4 months ago

Came down kinsman pond trail to avoid fishin jimmy, which was incredibly steep going up. Kinsman pond looks seldom used, and most of trail is just a stream bed. Camped overnight at kinsman pond, good tent site

5 months ago

Well we started at 9AM to attempt both summits with our dog / mountain goat and it was just too hot for the poor guy so we made it to Lonesome Lake and ended the hike there.

ABSOLUTELY stunning hiking from the trail it’s self to the incredible lake! We will definitely be doing this again and finishing the two summits just have to leave our fur baby behind:( or we will camp next attempt.

Definitely steeper than we thought from the start but again well worth it! Also we did this in June so don’t forget your bug spray!!!

Can’t wait to do it again and complete the rest of the review!!

5 months ago

this hike is really 9.7 miles! but had a blast today. perfect conditions. did it in 5 hours!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike! Hike was a lot of fun, the stairs were a neat addition. Views were beautiful from both mountains!

hiking
7 months ago

Did it on 4/7/18. It was a beautiful day with good sunshine. It had snowed 2-3 inches the previous day and so there was some fresh snow. There is a ledge near the North peak which had some amazing views. We spent around 1.5 hrs on the South peak. It was snowing slightly on the way back. Made for an awesome sight at Lonesome Lake.

About the trail, it's pretty straightforward with a few icy spots. I used microspikes on the way up and snowshoes on the way down.

Time spent hiking, excluding the 1.5hr break was 8hrs.

8 months ago

loved this. don't let your brain trick you into thinking you're almost there. just enjoy the path. after the lake it narrows into the forest before going up Kinsman. there are a couple places going up I would highly recommend turning around and taking in the view. on South kinsman there are two summit looking places. this was a challenging but fun hike. the dogs managed to navigate around the really steep parts both up and down. cramp on for sure but didn't use snow shoes. removed crampons once near the top cause it was so packed down. fun day hike! if you have time check out the kinsman pond while you're up there. it took me 6.5 hours with 40 minutes at the top and alot of "I think my lungs collapsed" breaks up. but so good

hiking
9 months ago

Strenuous but beautiful hike. Did it on Feb 11, 2018, trails were well packed but relatively warm day and needed showshoes for entire hike, everyone else I saw on the mountain had the same. Word of caution, pulling out in the dark from the Lafayette campground area I accidentally went straight into an unplowed side lot that is restricted to snowmobiles. Called AAA who sent a truck and charged $300 to pull me out since it was technically a snowmobile trail rather than a lot. Driver said he pulls 20 people out a weekend, nice little cash cow for the local tow service. Went back afterward and small posted signs say "No Highway Vehicles Allowed", $300 later I now know what that phrase means....

trail running
10 months ago

trails were packed untill we were .2 miles from the kinsman campsite.
made the nKinsman north summit in knee to neck deep snow...
views on lafayette and franconia ridge + cannon are amazing on the way down from north kinsman

10 months ago

Great hike last Friday in snow storm with some friends. Micro-spikes were needed, didn't put on snowshoes, snow was light and wispy. Stay on packed trail, deep and hidden holes if you step off trail in spots, mostly on hidden bridges. Hut was open, not heated. Great Day.....

11 months ago

Great trail on a snowy and windy day!

hiking
Sunday, November 12, 2017

SNOW! It is official the trails are covered in snow. I wasn't exactly prepared (mentally) for the snow and ice on the trail. Luckily I had layers and cheap crampons ( I will be investing in some better ones). I have never been on a snow hike but this was manageable. Actually more difficult on the way down than up especially when we hit some of the steep ice slabs. I have no idea what this trail looks like not covered in snow but I would imagine it being a fairly wet trail. I actually found the views at North Kinsman better than south. Less obstruction on North even though it isn't a 360. It was a great day barely any wind and decent views throughout. Bring layers and traction!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Very strenuous but the lakes and view from South Kinsman is totally worth it. I would suspect really slippery if raining.

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Added Kinsman Pond Trail and Cascade Brooke (back to Lonesome Lake) to this hike. Challenging with slippery rocks, but beautiful hike.

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Nice hike but you never know that you’re on North Kinsman but the lookout was nice, and South Kinsman has an open summit and a nice size cairn marking the summit. The hike in was socked in but the hike out the clouds had lifted.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

really nice. a few steep spots, but not bad. the summits aren't marked so just follow white blaze until cairn at south kinsman.

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

Took Lonesome Lake to Fishin' Jimmy to Kinsman Ridge out and instead of Fishin' Jimmy, took Kinsman Pond. Solid hike with nice views at North and South Kinsman summits.

hiking
Monday, August 28, 2017

Took the AP. Trail up to North and South Kinsman, didn't care much for the view at South peak but North peak is great. Has a fantastic view of Franconia ridge. Than I accidentally took the wrong turn and went over the Cannon Balls. Little bit more elevation gain and a longer route back to my vehicle.

hiking
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Summited both Kinsmans via Fishin' Jimmy and Kinsman Ridge Trails. On the way down, we decided to continue along Kinsman Ridge Trail, over the Cannon Balls and on to summit Cannon.

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

Ascended north peak from cannon mountain via the cannon balls and crossed the ridge in order to reach the south peak. The cannon balls required a great deal of scrambling and the ridge trail consisted of a lot of ups and downs for the majority of the miles. We took the steep and tricky fishin' jimmy trail down to lonesome lake trail and were glad for the quick descent it allowed us to make. I recommend stopping at the lonesome lake hut on the way down for water and refueling.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

The lonesome lake trail is closed so the only way up from the campground is via the hi cannon trail. I headed up at 7 am and didn't run into much traffic and was pleasantly surprised that the climbs to both peaks weren't very busy given it was a beautiful Sunday in July. Typical white mountain hiking so expect rocks and roots.

Lonesome lake is quite popular and was busy so the hike back to the parking lot was jammed a bit. 8:45 time for the round trip to both peaks.

backpacking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Recently went and there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground. Some form of traction is a must to get up there and back without problems. Views of North Kinsman were spectacular!

hiking
Sunday, June 12, 2016

This hike has very many interesting features all along the way. Lonesome Lake Trail on the ascent was not too difficult and made even better by the switchbacks. Over the lake there were gorgeous views of Franconia Ridge.

Fishin' Jimmy Trail, the ascent from the lake to Kinsman Pond, was very memorable, difficult and fun. Wood blocks were mounted in the sides of the rock face and chunks were carved out of boulders to provide footholds. This trail was challenging but was definitely worth the effort due to the interesting features of the trail itself.

We had good views from North Kinsman - 180 views of Franconia Ridge and Loon Mountain. South Kinsman also had good views of Moosilauke and the valley around Easton. The clouds started to roll in making it a bit chilly and damp - make sure to bring warm clothes even in summer!

Overall this was a beautiful hike with interesting trails, beautiful lake and pond and we met a lot of really friendly peakbaggers along the way.

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